THE YEARLING SALES – AN INSIGHT FROM TEAM KUBLER

It’s an exciting time in the racing calendar as catalogues for the upcoming yearling sales are arriving and the analysis to find exciting new recruits begins.

Crowd Racing trainers, Daniel and Claire Kubler have kindly shared how they work together on the process to find the right racehorses for their existing and hopefully new sole owners, partnerships and racehorse syndicates.


Yearling Sales - The Catalogue

the Yearling Sales Catalogues

A few weeks before each sale, the auction companies send out catalogues, which contain information about the pedigrees of the horses on offer. 

The bulk of the catalogue is the information about the pedigree of each horse that is offered. It explains who is offering the horse for sale (known as the consignor) and where on the sales ground the horse will be located. At yearling sales the horses are sold in an alphabetical order based on the name of the dam of each horse. Starting with a different letter each year. This removes any arguments about bias towards one vendor or another as in an auction there can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the timing of when a horse is sold in the sale. 

Below is a typical catalogue page. The page focuses primarily on the family of the mother of the horse and her extended family. The stallions are generally well known and normally have multiple offspring in the catalogue and there is a special section that outlines their racing achievements and leading offspring.

Yearling Sales - Typical page

At the top of the page is the family tree showing both sides of the family. Underneath is the first dam with her race record presented (in this case Symbol of Peace). Underneath her name is the record of her offspring, in this case all five of her runners are winners and their records are displayed, Arishka who has won twice for our yard this season is one of her earlier foals. You will note that Treaty of Paris is in bold type and capitalised. This is because he has won a stakes race, the Group 3 Acomb stakes, actually in a race Il Paparazzi who we purchased and trained finished third in. Horses who placed in stakes races but never won one are shown in bold type but not capitalised. This system makes it very easy to gain a quick understanding of the quality of horses the family, as a whole, have produced. 

Looking further down the page one can see Sing Softly, the great grandmother of this foal. She was a very good racehorse and produced several top class horses, as have her daughters. Every indentation indicates a generation. So Sing Softly is the mother of Eliza Action who in turn is the dam of Stotsfold.


ANALYSING THE CATALOGUES

The information in the page presented above is useful but it only tells the reader so much. For the better known races such as the Acomb an agent or trainer will be aware it’s a seven furlong race for two year olds run at York’s Ebor meeting. They are unlikely to know off the top of their head that All Nighter won a maiden over a mile at Lingfield in January and ran a best racing post rating of 73.

Before the sale we will research all the pedigrees in depth and analyse whether the pedigree represents a good probability of being a successful racehorse. We’ll make notes as to the best race distances and ratings for each close relative and note if the horse has been sold previously and how much it changed hands for and who bought it (see below). Sometimes there will have been results for runners on the page since the pedigree was published, if these are significant they are also added. Get in touch to discuss in further detail what we look out for in pedigrees.

If we think the pedigree has enough of the factors that it is likely to throw up a good racehorse we will put it on our list to inspect. If we have specific orders for a type of horse, for example a sprinter, one can deduce which horses are likely to be sprinters. There is little point looking at a horse by a Derby winner out of a filly that won the Oaks when you’re working together with a client to find a prospect for the July Cup.

Typical catalogue page from The Yearling Sales

AT THE YEARLING SALES

At most yearling sales well over 200 horses are sold each day. Often the sales last several days meaning there are a lot of horses to look at. It’s an intense process, that requires a lot of focus. It is key to look at as many horses as possible that fit your criteria. The inspection days last from 8am until 5pm and we will look at hundreds of horses each day. Horses can only be seen at a walk and we are analysing their conformation and bio-mechanics. As anyone who has ever stood with Claire around a paddock and study a maiden race will attest, she is second to none in judging a horse’s potential. We also pay attention to each horses temperament. A beautiful model is no good if he or she has a truculent approach to life.

To learn more about the specifics of what we look at get in touch and we will happily discuss it with you and show you characteristics that make the winners stand out.

First, Claire and Daniel work individually to create a long list. We will then swap these lists and whittle it down to a shortlist, again working independently. Once completed, we have a list of horses that we have both seen and liked. We spend the evenings comparing notes and discussing each horse. We research the pedigree further and discuss potential horses together with clients. We make notes of particular things to pay close attention to when carrying out a final inspection and also consider if there is anything we’d like a vet to check. We will also consider the likely value of the horse and whether it fits a particular budget or not.  

During final inspections we discuss with consignors their feelings about a particular horse to gain further insight. As can be expected some are more open than others. It doesn’t make sense for consignors to mislead potential buyers who are likely to come back year after year for the sake of one sale so generally the environment is one of trust. Sometimes clients will accompany us on a final inspection at other times they will be happy to leave it to us or even carry out their own inspection. We are happy working together with clients however they wish, for some the research and analysis is a huge part of the enjoyment and many are able to offer interesting insight.

Looking at horses at The Yearling Sales

Once we have carried out our final inspection we will be left with a final list. If we are using a vet, we will let our team know which horses we would like them to check. Often, they have already looked at the horse for another client and can provide a report instantly, if not they will carry out an examination. Some clients will want all potential purchases vetted. One has to be careful not to vet too many horses as it can become costly. All horses we buy are given a wind test where an independent vet checks that the horses breathing is functionally normal post sale. A service offered by all sales companies.

The vetting process may take a few horses off the final list but we are essentially ready for the cauldron that is the auction ring. Horses gather in a pre-parade ring and it gives you as the buyer one last chance to observe a horse and see how it handles something new. It’s also helpful to see how a horse measures up when compared directly to its peers. You want to feel the same excitement looking at the horse now as it stands out against its peers as it will when it enters the parade ring for its first race.

Parade ring

Dreaming of that first day at the races, we enter the auction ring and hope that our budget will stretch far enough to be the winning bidder. Once the hammer falls the horse is yours and the dreaming and planning together can begin. For us the hard work of developing your quality new horse in to a winner with our team of horsemen and women begins.

Crowd Racing has had great success with Daniel and Claire with a horse they purchased as a yearling, Arishka. She has now 2 races for us and her career is still on the up, as Arishka is an exciting and progressive young filly. We don’t have shares available in Arishka currently but if you would like to get involved you can join our Racing Club, The Gold and Green Crowd by clicking here.

If you would like to speak to Daniel or Claire about taking a share in a horse with them, or buying a yearling outright then you can email Daniel at Daniel@kublerracing.com or find more information at www.kublerracing.com


UPCOMING YEARLING SALES

Doncaster Silver Sale 29th of August
Three days of yearlings with a focus on two year old types and more speed orientated pedigrees. We’ve bought several winners from the sale including the highly rated Disko for £10,000 who was only beaten a length at Listed level. 

Baden Baden Yearling Sales (Germany) 30th of August
We’ve had  success with German pedigrees in the past, notably Affileo who was sold to the USA for a multiple six figure sum following a maiden win and we are particularly fond of Sea the Moon a promising young German sire who has several offspring in this sale and we are interested in attending this sale for the first time this year. German horses are renowned for their hardiness and from a relatively small foal crop each year German bred horses punch above their weight on the track.

Ascot Yearling Sale 10th of September
A relatively new sale on the circuit, that is starting to make waves, it is local to us and we will be in attendance. The Newbury Super Sprint winner was sourced at this sale last year. The focus is on speedily bred types who should make two year olds. 

Tattersalls Ireland Yearling Sales 24th-26th of September
We think this a good value sale with plenty of diversity on offer, a lot of the bigger owners pass over this sale meaning that competition for the best lots isn’t as strong as it might be at other venues. We’ve sourced several relatively inexpensive winners over the years here and it’s always a fun sale to attend. Promising novice winner Zephyrina who is a half sister to a classic placed horse was bought here.

Goffs Orby and Sportsman Sale 1st – 4th October (Ireland)
Not a sale we always attend, the first two days are the Orby which is a select sale and features some well bred horses, the second two days comprise the Sportsman Sale which is bigger than it has ever been this year and could present some interesting opportunities. We have sourced winners from the Sportsman in the past. 

Tattersalls Book 1 8th -10th October (Newmarket)
The best yearling sale in the world. The top lots make fortunes but there are often good horses to be picked up at the middle market level that prove to be top class racehorses that don’t quite fit the demanding criteria of the big spending owners. Outrage who has won 8 races for us was purchased at this sale.

Tattersalls Book 2 14th-16th October  
A good standard of horse and a lot of variety on offer. It is a sale we’ve bought a lot of winners from, the best being Il Paparazzi who was Group 3 placed and sold to Hong Kong for a multiple six figure sum. 

Tattersalls Book 3 17th-18th October
There are lots of nice horses in this sale, competition for places in Books 1&2 is fierce and many horses that don’t quite make the cut end up in this sale, particularly fillies as the demand for colts in book 2 is very strong and the split is not even. Chitra was unsold at this sale and it hasn’t stopped her winning five races to date for our team. 


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